A magistrates’ court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has sentenced a 22-year-old hairstylist, Joy Olaka-Wogu, to four years in prison for stealing twin babies from their parents in 2018 and trafficking them.
She was sentenced to four years on each of the three counts of child trafficking, conspiracy and theft pressed against her.
Olaka-Wogu, who initially pleaded not guilty to the charges, later pleaded guilty after informing the court of her repentance and asked for forgiveness.
In her judgment, the Chief Magistrate, Amaka Amanze, said available facts showed that the convict had been in the business of stealing and selling babies for a while.
The chief magistrate said the sentence was to deter her from indulging in such a crime in the future, saying though she pleaded guilty, it was important the court took a stand against crimes.
She adjourned the case till March 2, 2021 to hear the evidence of the second defendant who denied that she bought the twins from the convict.
Counsel for the International Federation of Women Lawyers, Esther Achor-Korienta, expressed satisfaction over the judgment, noting that the verdict would serve as a warning to those indulging in child trafficking.